Behind Closed Doors, Boy Scouts Debate Openly Gay Scouts’ Status

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February 4, 2013; Source: New York Times

Recently, the NPQ newswire noted that the Boy Scouts of America are considering reversing their policy of banning openly gay members from being Boy Scouts. Today marks the third day of a three-day meeting in Irving, Texas that the Boy Scouts have convened to consider lifting the ban. The ban has drawn a lot of attention from some high-profile people. For example, President Barack Obama is on record as supporting allowing gay Scouts, while Texas Gov. Rick Perry has said that he is against such a move.

It’s important to note that the proposal being debated at the meeting is not one that would mandate that every troop affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America allow gay members. Rather, the proposal would lift the ban imposed by the national Boy Scouts of America and allow troops to decide for themselves on the local level. The theory is that lifting the ban might address the precipitous drop in scouting enrollment, but would also allow troops to respect the views of their charter organizations, nearly 70 percent of which are religious organizations (many of which have anti-gay policies).

Interestingly, reporters who have gathered in Irving have not been allowed into the private three-day-long meeting. We’ll keep you posted. –Rob Meiksins